Oct 12, 2013

Adventures with Ahrens wants coffee, and it's almost 11: p.m.

I have learned, over the past ten years or so, that I can focus more clearly, accomplish more, and get it all done in much better time, if... there is coffee nearby.  I am not the only person to have come across this nugget of knowledge, however, because I have worked my son's autism recovery through the use of biomedical treatments, I learned a great deal of other uses for other ailments.  My ailment of course, being so "scattery."  *My hope is to have put that in quotes to emphasize that word as a fraud, but I like it.

Anyway, I did some research on caffeine, and learned that it works in a similar way that prescription meds work in order to assist a person diagnosed with ADHD.  Those prescriptions have a slew of side effects, and while I have never been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, or anything close to it, I have noticed that caffeine can make or break a cleaning task, working with children on school work, even writing!  There have been about four (4) blogs that I have authored that I loved.  I remember now that each of those writings are fantastic mostly because they are so well written.  The sentences lend themselves to one another, the structure is concise, the punctuation seems to punctuate properly, the descriptions create imagery that I could not paint, etc.  Yup- coffee was the key ingredient during those writings.  

Can you tell, I am thinking I need coffee, and it is after ten at night, and honestly, as I fumble through the stack of books next to me, and try to figure out how to make play rehearsals, gymnastics practices, fit in the use of some free theater tickets, etc., I am drowning!  I am not sure how a cup of coffee could really hurt me at this point, seeing as I can't sleep since I have this need to get through some lesson planning and curriculum discovery, and everyone is asleep.  Best time to get some work done- in quiet. But sometimes, I feel the need for some music or back ground noise so that I can focus again.  See, the dichotomy that is me ;o)

I sat in a parent meeting for my daughter's play, and as the director reviewed much of the same info I learned in the last play, I fiddled with my phone and checked in with Facebook, looked at and deleted junk emails, and then, just to keep me in the seat, checked out the education section of Pinterest.  And yet, I seemed to hear everything that the director said, or asked of us.

I am learning how my children learn.  We have been at this home school thing for just over a month.  I read that if a child can not learn how we teach, we need to teach how they learn.  As an adult, I know that there are certain ways that I learn best, but they are so involved and time consuming, and I wish I could just learn an easier way.  (I'm lazy, at best.)  Figuring out how to best motivate (candy) each child was easy.  How to get them excited about what I am motivating- that is tough.  Especially when it comes to challenging concepts, or things that simply don't interest them.  I have found that if I am not as excited about it, chances are, neither will they be.  So, while my son might not care about telling time, as he fidgets with the hands of the clock, he is using his tactile senses as he actually listens and retains what was being taught.  As my daughter needs to have repetition of the same concept in order to retain it, we will occasionally do the same concept thirty times before she is proficient in that area.  (Bless her heart with math concepts.)

I am so blessed to have this time to grow and learn with each of my children.  I can now truly appreciate why the good teachers love their jobs.  I love that I am surrounded by supportive family, friends, and even, the community.  The alternative education thoughts are just as wide as the choices.  If you think you can't- you can.  I don't think every child should be home educated, but I don't think every child will thrive in the public/private/charter school setting, either.  We happen to be that family.  We also happen to be a family that is willing to sacrifice in order to provide a better future for each of our children.  I dream of a day that each child is fully independent of my husband and me, happy, providing for themselves and/or their families, and recognizes what our Heavenly Father has provided for them.  That is the day I will know it was all worth it.  
Just some of the books that I have from the public school that I have accumulated.  I am not totally for or against the Common Core.  I think there are issues that need to be resolved with it, before I can fully support it, however, if it is understood that the school systems all pick their own curriculum, and it is what they chose to do with that that is more important than actually the standards that are set by the Common Core standards.  I am always checking to make sure that I am at least providing what is necessary in order to reach the next stepping stone in this process.  (Gotta' teach the sounds of the letter before you can teach to read, right?)  Same idea.  Hey, this incredible ABA therapist filled me in on the coolest little tidbit- kids don't need to know the names of letters. They only need to be able to recognize the sound they make, in order to learn to read.  That is one of those ideas that weeks later, my brain is still trying to apply that concept to other education "school's" of thought. 

UPDATE- I knew it.  She did learn to ride her bike today- ON.HER.OWN.  I went to a parent meeting, and suggested my husband take them to the park to ride bikes.  And yes, by the time I got there, less than an hour into it, she has taught herself.  There was one thing I knew, and it was that she was determined, and she had to figure it out on her own.  And she did! 

She weaves left and right.  If you see this angelic figure on a path near you- GO THE OTHER WAY- FAST.  She is a danger to you.  (PSA for you sake, not mine.  I'm her mom.  I have to stay near her.  Save yourselves!)

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